Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

A Rude Awakening


When the radio alarm clicked on the other morning it woke me with news that this years ‘A level’ results had been published. In the void between sleep and consciousness I realised that in 3 years time, it will be Tom who is awaiting this news and about to fly the nest. That made me sit up.

Tom and Spud surfing -2

Tom and Spud surfing the ‘net

It galvanised me into action, we’d promised Tom we’d decorate his room (and get it fit for ‘study’ rather than facebook) and  now  that the builders have departed there was no excuse (and plenty of remedial work to-boot).

Tom had very clear ideas about what he wanted, new curtains, dark, dark enough to maintain a blackout suitable for teenage lie-ins and a very specific colour scheme (which entailed me painting out a previously dark blue wall with 5 coats of white paint, yes FIVE; it was exciting as watching paint dry, five times over. So with 3 walls painted in a wholesome white, the 4th wall was to be lime green ‘with paint chucked at it, fluorescent paint!’ *

I had visions of it all going horribly wrong, but what could go wrong with throwing paint? We actually we had a ball, Tom and I hadn’t  as much fun with paint since preschool. It was a belly laugh. As was trying to get Tom to the bathroom afterwards to wash his feet.

Tom feet paint-2 

at 6ft tall he is a bit long to ‘wheelbarrow’ especially round corners.

We were very happy with the finished effect (but before he leaps off into the wide world, in 3 years time, he can paint over this, as it’s going to take more than five coats to lose this.

the wall-2

New furniture was also required, so when last weekend Tom and Mr Uhdd had to abandon a sailing race in the Irish Sea because of bad weather, I made sure they returned home via Ikea in Warrington, Mr Uhdd had not set foot in an Ikea store for over 22 years, and by the colour of his face when he got home, (it was a shade that bore a strong resemblance to a stormy Irish Sea) it will be even longer than that before he returns again.

So this is where I’ve been of late, not immersed in nature as usual, but immersed in emulsion paint. Normal service will be resumed, all be it briefly as another four rooms and the hall stairs and landing require decorating.

*I hasten to add Tom has done a fair share of the work, but I kept him out of the white paint, but he is now a whizz at building flat pack furniture.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

11 thoughts on “A Rude Awakening

  1. Tom’s a poet
    and doesn’t know it,
    but his feet show it
    they’re Longfellows!

    (And very colorful, too!)

    . . . sorry, couldn’t resist. Glad you and Tom had fun decorating.

  2. My daughters bedroom: she is 17 going on 22. It is painted off white and mauve; (is that a colour?) anyhow the floor is 2 feet thick in clothes/underwear/more underwear/and another duvet? and small cudly toys. Please advise how to the crap off the floor. Madam will not do it unless bribed by money. Lucky you to have a son.

    • Let me reassure you, there is no difference between girls and boys on tidiness! we are under no illusions that giving Tom a cupboard/wardrobe the size of a garden shed for storage means things will be put away. His desk maybe clear and his shelves waiting for neatly filed folders of course work….. but. (I also imagine girls rooms smell sweeter than heaps of discarded games kit and mountain bike gear?)

  3. Did he come up with the color scheme himself, or did he copy it from somewhere?

    Sounds like you’ll be exceptionally busy for a while.

  4. I like that green with paint splotches. I tried something somewhat similar many years ago for my son. It didn’t turn out nearly as well. Good job, all!

  5. In my next life I want to come back as your son. Or maybe your dog. Either way, I’d have a heckuva lot of fun. Now I think I’m going to go buy some paint for the dog room.

    • Joe’s room is next on our ‘programme of works’ he wants something similar, but obviously it cant be the same, Tom won’t allow him to ‘copy’! Ideas anyone? ( Using a catapult of paint pellets is favourite at the moment.)
      My mum tells me that during the war she and her sister decorated their attic bedroom, ‘There wasn’t much paint about and no wallpaper to be had; so we white washed the walls, what most people did then for decoration was to ‘rag roll’ with a different colour. But we decided to use a toilet brush instead, the effect looked like big chrysanthemums all over the wall, we were rather pleased with ourselves.’
      Gerry, for the dog room, please make sure you cover all other surfaces before starting! We did speculate what effect we might get from using Spud’s ears.

  6. Having spent a less-than-happy two hours yesterday tidying up after my girls, I can confirm that kids are just, well, messy. My friend (who has boys) insists that my girls’ rooms smell much better (a mixture of make up, perfume, deodorant and body sprays) but in both cases, the floor covering is a well-kept secret much of the time.

    Something a friend of mine did (with great success) in her daughter’s room was a similar effect to rag-rolling, but with a big ball of elastic bands. Messy and fun. A plain light pink wall was enlivened with wobbly stripes of a darker pink, and it looks great! She inadvertently ended up with dark pink kitty paw prints on the white window sill, though, but decided to keep them as her daughter thought it looked cute.

  7. A family that I knew growing up painted a bathroom, then made paint “handprints” and “footprints” on the walls in bright colors by dipping their hands and feet in the different paints. Messy, I imagine, but fun, and it goes with the theme of Tom’s paint-splattered feet! It also was fun to see how the kids’ hands changed over the years.

  8. I love it. Are you and Tom for hire? I have a few rooms that could use some new paint… 😉

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